Dhaka, Nov 13 (UNB) - Bangladesh has reiterated its call for sustaining the international pressure on Myanmar for the safe and dignified repatriation of the Rohingya refugees who fled to Bangladesh to escape atrocities.
“A continued and sustained international pressure on Myanmar will be catalyst for a long-term solution to one of the worst humanitarian crisis created by Myanmar forcing Bangladesh to bear its brunt," Bangladesh High Commissioner to India Syed Muazzem Ali said on Tuesday in New Delhi.
He made the remark while briefing more than 60 diplomats representing their New Delhi-based missions concurrently accredited to Bangladesh.
The hour-long briefing session was held to update the diplomats about the latest development on Rohingya crisis and to seek support for the OIC and EU resolution entitled “Human Right Situation in Myanmar”, table at the 3rdCommittee of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
Already 99 countries have cosponsored the draft resolution which will be considered by the 3rdCommittee on November 15, said the High Commission.
Last year, a resolution on the “Situation of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar” was overwhelmingly adopted at the 3rd Committee with 135 countries voting in favor, 10 against and 26 abstaining.
Referring to the influx of over 700,000 Rohingyas since 25 August in 2017, Syed Muazzem said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina let the persecuted men, women and children to enter Bangladesh on humanitarian consideration.
It is now time for the refugees to return to their homes under a continued and sustainable repatriation programme, he said adding that a permanent solution to the crisis lies in the implementation of the three-point solution proposed by Sheikh Hasina at the last UNGA session.
The essence of the three-point is: Myanmar must end discriminatory laws, policies and practices against minority group, bust create a conducive environment through building trust and protection of rights and it must end atrocious crimes against Rohingyas.
The High Commissioner said over 2,000 Rohingya refugees are expected to leave for Myanmar on Thursday in the first batch of voluntary and verified repatriation under a bilateral agreement between Bangladesh and Myanmar and it is being supervised by UNHCR.
“It’s a token repatriation and it’ll be a test case for Myanmar,” he said.
The session was followed by a question-answer session.
Dhaka, Nov 13 (UNB) – Mentioning that Bangladesh has been able to maintain an impressive economic growth in recent years, speakers at a discussion here on Tuesday underscored the need for the continuation of ‘public policies’ to keep up the ongoing development pace.
“The continuity of public policies is very important. Political stability and public policy consistency are hallmarks of good development,” said ADB Country Director Manmohan Parkash at the discussion on the economic outlook of Bangladesh.
American Chamber of Commerce in Bangladesh organised the panel discussion at a city hotel.
Noting that the average economic growth in the recent years is impressive, the ADB Country Director said, “Some 7.5 percent, 7 percent or 6 percent economic growth is something very remarkable.”
“In terms of human development index, Bangladesh has done the best in the South Asia,” he said.
Manmohan Parkash said Bangladesh is also the best in Asia, not just in the South Asia when it comes to gender parity.
Former Finance Secretary Dr Mohammad Tareque said, “Bangladesh is not only moving economically, but has also gained miraculous achievement in terms of socioeconomic progress.”
Tareque, also a director of Bangladesh Institute of Governance and Management and former alternate executive director of the World Bank, said the next 40-50 years are very crucial for Bangladesh for making its large active labour force skilled. “So, it’s important for Bangladesh to make its large active labour force skilled and educated, utilise its relations with external world, diversify its export and remittance, and enhance the productivity of the private sector,” he said.
He expressed his optimism about the economic future of Bangladesh. “The growth of Bangladesh is unstoppable,” he said.
Former AmCham President Aftab Ul Islam said the country’s economic progress is being led by the business community as 85 percent of jobs is generated by the private sector, some 75 percent of investment and US$ 37 billion export earnings come from the private sector. “The role of the private sector is enormous in the economic development of Bangladesh.”
He identified high tax rate as one of the major barriers to enhancing the private investment in the country. “The tax rate is the highest in Bangladesh in comparison to our neighbouring countries.
Aftab Ul Islam, also a director of the Bangladesh Bank, said the central bank has turned into an ‘extension office' of the Finance Ministry which largely contributed to deteriorating the financial health of the country.
“Unfortunately, now the central bank has become an extension of the Ministry of Finance. Absolutely, it has become an extension of the Ministry of Finance.”
“Taking crores of Taka from the bank became a status in Bangladesh. A loan below Taka a thousand crore is not a loan now. If you take Taka thousand crore loan, it’s the responsibility of the government to schedule and reschedule the money,” Aftab said.
“The situation of the banks is horrendously bad. Bangladesh’s all the indicators are wonderful except the financial health. Financial health is really very bad,” he further said.
Executive Chairman of Bangladesh Investment Development Authority Kazi Aminul Islam said Bangladesh will have to have a GDP of three trillion dollar for becoming a developed country by 2041.
He said, “If we want to be a developed country by 2041, our GDP has to grow… if the population at that moment is 200 million, which is now 165 million, we’ve to have a GDP of three trillion dollar.”
Moderating the discussion, AmCham President Md Nurul Islam said Bangladesh has made impressive progress in the socio-economic sector over the years.
Benapole, Nov 13 (UNB) – Fifteen Bangladeshi fishermen who were driven away into the Indian territory by a strong storm while fishing in the bay in Patuakhali district two months back returned home on Tuesday.
Members of Indian Border Security Force (BSF) of Petrapole camp handed them over to Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and immigration police in the afternoon through Benapole checkpost.
All the fishermen hail from Taherpur village of Patuakhali district.
Subedar Amzad Hossain, commander of Benapole ICP BGB camp, said members of Indian Coast Guard rescued the fishermen from their coastal territory 19 hours after they went missing in the bay around two months ago.
Later, they were handed over to Gobardhan Police Station in India.
India authorities returned them back to BGB following a bilateral negotiation between the home ministries of the countries.
Dhaka, Nov 13 (UNB) - UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Tuesday called on the government of Myanmar to show its seriousness in creating the conditions for return by addressing the root causes of the crisis in Rakhine state, particularly the systematic discrimination against and persecution of Rohingya.
Bachelet also urged the government of Bangladesh to halt plans for the repatriation of more than 2,200 Rohingya refugees to Myanmar, warning that the returns would be in violation of international law and put their lives and freedom at serious risk.
High Commissioner Bachelet appealed to the government of Bangladesh to ensure scrupulously that any repatriation takes place in line with international standards of voluntariness, safety and dignity, with full transparency, and only when the conditions are right.
“The history of the Rohingya in Myanmar is one filled with repeated episodes of violence, flight and return,” Bachelet said.
“We need to speak with one voice to stop this cycle from repeating itself yet again," the High Commissioner was quoted as saying in a statement received from Geneva.
The Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar are the victims of human rights violations committed in the midst of the violence that erupted in August 2017, which led to the flight of more than 725,000 people.
Many witnessed the killings of members of their families and the burning down of their homes and villages.
Bachelet said Rohingyas have stated repeatedly that they do not wish to return under current conditions. "Several of the refugee families apparently listed for return are headed by women or children."
The office also continues to receive reports of ongoing violations of the rights of Rohingya remaining in northern Rakhine, which include allegations of killings, disappearances and arbitrary arrests, as well as widespread restrictions on the rights to freedom of movement, health and education.
About 130,000 internally displaced people (IDPs), many of whom are Rohingya, remain in camps in central Rakhine, said Bachelet.
Another 5,000 IDPs remain in No Man’s Land between Myanmar and Bangladesh while more than 4,000 are in Aung Mingalar ward in Sittwe, where they are subjected to a wide range of restrictions.
Hundreds of thousands of people in other parts of Rakhine also remain deprived of their rights to freedom of movement, to basic services and livelihood – as well as their right to a nationality.
Some of the refugees have threatened suicide if they are forced to repatriate, and two elderly men in Cox’s Bazar have already attempted suicide.
“We’re witnessing terror and panic among those Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar who are at imminent risk of being returned to Myanmar against their will,” High Commissioner Bachelet said.
“Forcibly expelling or returning refugees and asylum seekers to their home country would be a clear violation of the core legal principle of non-refoulement, which forbids repatriation where there are threats of persecution or serious risks to the life and physical integrity or liberty of the individuals.”
“The human rights violations committed against the Rohingya in Myanmar amount to the worst atrocities, including crimes against humanity and possibly even genocide. With an almost complete lack of accountability – indeed with ongoing violations – returning Rohingya refugees to Myanmar at this point effectively means throwing them back into the cycle of human rights violations that this community has been suffering for decades,” Bachelet added.
Jahangirnagar University, Nov 13 (UNB) - A faction of Awami League (AL) backed teachers of the university protested against the alleged autocratic activities of its Vice Chancellor (VC) Professor Farzana Islam including recruitments in different departments.
The teachers with a banner -‘Bangabandhur Adarsha O Muktijuddher Chetonay Bishwashi Progotishil Shikkhok Shomaj’, launched the protest and held a press conference at the seminar room of Mathematical and Physical Sciences faculty on Tuesday.
Spokesman and Secretary of the platform, Associate Professor Farid Ahmed said Professor Farzana Islam has violated all accustomed rules and regulations by recruiting people in different posts including dean and syndicate members of the university.
“She has recruited a total of 18 teachers in different departments in last syndicate meeting while some of which were advertised three years ago. But according to the rule, any advertisement for recruitment loses its validity after six months”, he said.
Slamming the VC, he said Professor Farzana Islam has appointed many controversial people in different noted posts of the campus including provost, dean and transport official which is unprecedented in university’s history.
President of the organisation Professor Dr Ajit Kumar Majumder, Organising Secretary Professor Dr Alamgir Kabir, Senior Leader former Pro VC Professor Dr Abul Hossain, Joint Secretary Associate Professor Dr Awlad Hossain, Associate Professor Dr Tarique Abedin, Associate Professor Dr Kamal Hossain and Associate Professor Dr Shahed Rana were present at the programme among others.